Case Study

Protecting Consumers by Filtering out Fraud

Protecting Consumers by Filtering out Fraud

Safe water is critical to human health and survival, and consistent filtration is especially needed in water crisis zones like Flint, Michigan. While water may look, smell, or taste fine, people cannot always detect harmful contaminants. Households are the primary victims of defective filters. Counterfeit water filters sold online pose serious consumer health and safety risks. Ninety percent of filter purchases are made online, where it is difficult for households to ensure they are purchasing a quality product.

In 2016, appliance manufacturers recognized a trend of insurance claim investigations stemming from consumers’ acquisition of fraudulent replacement water filters online. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) worked with these companies to identify and prevent consumers from purchasing defective filters. AHAM’s independent laboratory investigations found many counterfeit filters failed to remove contaminants from household water, and some counterfeits even introduced harmful compounds.

AHAM launched the “Filter It Out” campaign to alert shoppers to the dangers of fraudulent filters. The campaign prevented faulty filters from reaching consumers and raised awareness of this previously hidden risk.

In 100% of the cases, all of the counterfeit filters we purchased failed the lead testing requirements, and they also failed the cyst testing requirements. We needed to have the evidence and research from credible, third-party bodies in order to verify this data and make a really strong case to the government agencies in our advocacy efforts that this is truly a problem.

— Jill Notini, AHAM Vice President of Communications and Marketing

Did you know?

90% of water filter purchases are made online.

Participating Organizations

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM)